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 The 12th-century chronicler

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PostSubject: The 12th-century chronicler   Tue Jun 21, 2011 4:59 pm

The 12th-century chronicler William of Malmesbury records a story, in which shortly after Urse was appointed sheriff, he encroached on the cemetery of the cathedral chapter of Worcester Cathedral. Ealdred, the Archbishop of York, pronounced a rhyming curse on Urse, declaring "Thou are called Urse. May you have God's curse."[42][notes 3] Ealdred had been Bishop of Worcester before becoming archbishop, and still retained an interest in the diocese.[45] Gerald of Wales, a late 12th- and early 13th-century writer, wrote that Wulfstan uttered the curse after Urse had attempted to have Wulfstan deposed as bishop. Gerald goes on to relate that Wulfstan stated he would only relinquish his episcopal staff to the king who had granted it, William I's predecessor, Edward the Confessor. Gerard then reports that Wulfstan proceeded to work a miracle at Edward's tomb, a miracle so impressive that King William confirmed Wulfstan in his episcopate. Although Urse did not succeed in removing Wulfstan, and although there are certainly embellishments added in Gerald's story, it is clear that Urse and Wulfstan were the main powers in Worcestershire, and were thus great rivals.[46]

The Archbishop's curse had no discernible effect, either on Urse's career or the castle.[43] Other chroniclers record that Urse stole monastic lands, including some from Evesham Abbey. Urse gained a reputation for greed and avarice, especially with regard to church lands.[47] Great Malvern Priory, however, claimed him as a founder in a 14th-century document.[11]



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